Two recent college graduates are relishing their time seeing the country aboard Oscar Mayer’s iconic wiener.
Madison residents will still be able to catch a glimpse of the 27-foot-long hot dog cruising the streets of the University of Wisconsin this week.
Molly Segall, who goes by “Honey Mustard Molly” with the Wienermobile on the road, said the vehicle brings smiles wherever it goes.
“I remember being a little girl and being fascinated by the Wienermobile every time I watched it drive by,” Segall, a UW alumna, said.
Segall said she sought the “hot dogger” position from an early age because she lived in Madison close to the Oscar Mayer plant. She applied for the position as a junior for the first time, and was eventually hired on as a hot dogger in her senior year, she said.
Segall said she has received the opportunity to travel the country from the experience.
The typical workweek for a hot dogger begins with the road on Monday, Segall said. Once the rolling wiener has reached its next destination, the crew takes a “touristy Tuesday,” she said.
“It’s perfect. No one is in line for tourist attractions on Tuesdays,” she said.
The parties and appearances for the position fall between Thursday and Sunday, Segall said.
Every day is different for the hot doggers, Hannah Carlson, another crew member, said. Some days they spend handing out flyers in front of a grocery store and some days they spend visiting children’s hospitals, she said.
Carlson, who as goes by “Hungry Hannah,” said the job has allowed her to meet hundreds of different people all across the country at these events.
“I originally applied for this position because I wanted to travel, specifically to the northeastern part of the country,” Carlson said. “I’m now on my 24th state this year.”
Carlson said the job offers more than just the opportunity for travel, and hot doggers cannot get too comfortable. She said the job has taught her about how she functions both as a professional and as an individual.
“It’s a learning experience because your bosses aren’t holding your hand … you’re responsible for getting your own work done,” Carlson said.
Segall said the most gratification from the job comes with knowing they are making people smile. The Wienermobile has attended weddings, birthday parties, anniversary parties and many more events, she said.
At one point the Wienermobile visited a fire station, Segall said, describing how they dressed up the hot dog as a firefighter and gave rides to firefighters and their families.
“The firefighters were so grateful that they actually let us stay in the fire house and cooked us dinner,” Segall said.
Carlson said the job is a lot of work and is not all fun and games or as “glamorous” as one may think.
Segall said among a hot dogger’s responsibilities are also pumping gas, reserving hotel rooms and getting to events on time.
The 27-foot-long hot dog gets the approximate gas mileage of a small sport utility vehicle, Carlson said.
Segall said it is important to be ready for anything. People will stop you on the street and tell you their life stories, she said.
Carlson said individuals who are interested in applying for this position should be ready for a long distance relationship with friends, family and significant others.
“Only one hot dogger is in a relationship right now,” Carlson said. “The management always jokes that if a relationship can last through a year in the Wienermobile then you’re ready to get married.”